I found myself becoming very curious whether economists who support Sir Nicholas’s social discount rate of zero, such as econ bloggers John Quiggin and Brad DeLong, identify themselves as pro-choice or pro-life, and whether they had considered the Stern Report from this angle.
My response has been anticipated by a commenter who observes
Strange as it may seem to Economist writers, there are phenomena in the world that aren’t particularly illuminated by applying economic concepts. Attitudes towards abortion have nothing at all to do with discounting rates.
Others in the comments thread spell this out.
One odd feature of the Economist blog is that contributions are anonymous. I know that Megan McArdle (aka Jane Galt) has something to with the site. While I’m used to pseudonymous commenters, most economics bloggers are (as Matt Yglesias puts it) proudly eponymous, or at least easily identified, and I find this a more satisfactory mode for arguing about issues like the Stern Review, though can’t exactly say why.